Rwanda: Latest News
She’s There When African Governments Turn Off The Internet: Meet The Lawyer Advancing Facebook In AfricaBy Staff, 1:01 am
Some describe Ebele Okobi, 42, as Facebook’s secretary of state for Africa. Last year, at least 11 African governments shut down the internet for various temporary reasons. Where there are shutdowns, there is Okobi. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of her work is Free Basics, the Facebook-driven platform that provides a free version of the internet. Telecos in 22 African countries provide it. Facebook can control what is accessible, and many have criticized it for creating different classes of internet access. For its part, Facebook says half of all Free Basics users convert into paying internet customers within a month.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Rwanda has scheduled a string of aviation events this year that it hopes will help bolster its growing tourism sector. The country has a new convention center to host such events. In July it celebrated the opening of Kigali’s new $300-million five-star Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre. More than 2,700 aviation experts are expected to attend five major international aviation events that include Aviation Africa 2017 and Africa Airport Summit. Kigali International Airport was ranked third-fastest growing in Africa in 2016.
Dana Sanchez, 10:32 am
Faced with an escalating price war at home in India, Bharti Airtel is looking to its African operations to reduce debt. India is one of the most competitive telecom markets in the world. The company lost $91 million in Africa in Q3 of 2016. Airtel has 22.14 percent market share in Nigeria and 34.1 million customers. Market observers in Nigeria say lack of access to foreign exchange for operators, falling revenue per user and customers’ lack of disposable income are hurting telecom operators in the country.
Dana Sanchez, 4:55 pm
In Burundi, where just 5% of people have electricity, a new 7.5-megawatt solar power plant is under construction. It’s expected to add 15% power generation capacity to the East African country. The groundbreaking was held Thursday in Mubuga. The solar plant will be built on 42 acres, 65 miles from the capital of Bujumbura. Mubuga has never had electricity and is 6.8 miles away from the power grid. Its residents have depended on candles, lanterns, firewood and charcoal since time immemorial.
Staff, 3:13 pm
Morocco’s investment in sub-Saharan Africa the past decade represents 85% of its overall foreign direct investment stocks. The story of its national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, testifies to its expansive economic ambition on the continent. Morocco has expanded economic ties with many African countries through trade and investments since it left the African Union. It now seeks to return to the A.U., boost these ties and settle the unresolved matter of the Western Sahara. It has support of 28 African countries. Leaving the A.U. was a “strategic mistake,” a stakeholder said. “Africa is our natural home.”
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:03 am AFKI Original
Presidential term limits are a slippery thing. Occasionally they can seem like a good idea. Most of the time, not so much. That’s what makes these five upcoming African elections so riveting. Everyone is watching to see who replaces Liberia’s popular Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — Africa’s first female president. Will it be a former soccer player, or the ex wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor? He was convicted of aiding crimes against humanity. She’s one of the most powerful woman in Liberian politics. Or it may be a former Coca-Cola executive, a former central bank governor or an attorney.
Dana Sanchez, 12:02 am
If you own a mobile phone, chances are it has tantalum in it from Africa and you have small amounts of the rare metal within inches of your brain. U.S.-based AB Minerals claims to have invented a new disruptive tantalite processing technology that it says will enable tantalum-producing countries to add value to the ore themselves rather than exporting raw ore to China. The company hopes to sell this technology all over Africa. The first African plant is expected to begin operating in Rwanda in 2017. Here’s part of an interview with AB Minerals founder and CEO Frank Balestra.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:57 am AFKI Original
In cities from Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo, Mozambique, gym memberships can be above $100 per month. Africans are paying higher fees than in more mature markets. Zumba classes are abundant, yoga is everywhere, and biking and running are an ever-growing trend in Africa. Putting cash into the facilities for these types of activities is lucrative. Scalability is still a concern but branding across borders and within regions is necessary for growth.
Staff, 6:12 pm
Where there are challenges or deficits, business and investment opportunities often emerge in the informal sector. The East African informal sector contributes 30-40% of GDP. Operating off the grid (not paying taxes), informal-sector employers and employees run the risk of punishment, limited police protection, and lack of social support services. Consumers help keep the informal sector growing, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Formal companies are getting rich providing services to the millions of consumers who use informal services. Here are some of them.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi have a permissive approach to drone regulations, helping make them attractive places for trials. Madagascar has also tested drones to reduce the time it takes to transport life-saving supplies in areas where roads are impassable or transport infrastructure is nonexistent. How useful are drones for carrying out human welfare tasks? The work is still too new and the data too thin to know. One study said humanitarian cargoes are often much heavier than a drone can handle.
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